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Russia's Road to Democracy : Parliament, Communism and Traditional Culture

Russia's Road to Democracy : Parliament, Communism and Traditional Culture

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Russian democracy in the post-totalitarian era is intimately bound up with the fate of its representative institutions. In Russia's Road to Democracy, Victor Sergeyev and Nikolai Biryukov assess why the Congress of People's Deputies, and the other newly elected institutions founded under perestroika, not only failed to prevent, but also seemed to speed up and provoke, the disintegration of the Soviet Union. By studying the early history of the Congress, the book seeks insights on the prospects for democracy in Russia.

Following an inquiry into the roots of Soviet political culture and the implications for future representative institutions, the book then examines the genesis of the Congress of People's Deputies and attempts a hermeneutical reconstruction of the deputies' models of social reality, as expressed in the texts of their parliamentary debates. The authors argue that the adoption of the concept of sobornost - a belief in society's organic unity - as the basic model for this institution proved utterly inadequate to the challenges the country faced.

Including substantial new source material which is being made available in English for the first time, Russia's Road to Democracy presents an in-depth analysis with conclusions that contradict the hitherto prevailing theoretical assumptions.

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